Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
Published by Clarion Books on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.
Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.
Before you continue on with this review, I need to give a huge THANK YOU to Louise for sending this book to me for a giveaway. I reached out to Louise and asked if she would take part in Mental Health Monday. She mentioned she was pretty busy these upcoming months, but offered to send me a copy of ‘Under Rose-Tainted Skies’ for a giveaway. I’m so honored and excited to share this book with you guys. It’s by far THE BEST mental health related book I have read to date and you’re going to hear me talking about it for a long time.
Mental Health Monday is a weekly post from bloggers, authors and everyday people who wish to share their mental health stories and struggles. I also share reviews of books based around Mental Health, as well as my own personal experiences. Check out here for more information.
I was going to write this review right after I finished the book. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t write the review after reading the book. I sat there looking at my tablet, wanting to write and my mind was just a blur of emotions. I had to step away for a while and let everything process and bring myself down from the crashing waves of emotions slamming into my heart. Some of this book was triggering for me. Not because I deal with OCD or agoraphobia, but because I do struggle with panic attacks. I share some of the same thoughts she has in regards to how people see her. It’s a scary thing. Wondering how people see you when some days you struggle to come off as being ‘normal’.
‘How can I expect people to empathize with a sickness they can’t see?’
This quote right here guys. It made me cry. Ugly cry and shake. I face planted my pillow and just let it all out. (The whole book made me cry, but this quote right here stuck out.)
Emotional. Powerful. Tragic. Heartbreaking. Beautiful. Unflinching. These are the words I would use to describe ‘Under Rose-Tainted Skies’.
One of the most amazing parts of this whole book is it takes place in one place. Her home. Norah couldn’t even go onto the porch to retrieve her groceries. Often you would see her at the door, gazing out into the world. Even though you stayed in the same place, it never got boring. You get so sucked into Norah, her mother and the struggles that she deals with when it comes to being afraid of stepping outside. I can’t imagine how it feels to be so scared of everything coming crashing down. When she talked about the stairs coming down in an earthquake, I felt the fear she was experiencing. The thought of not being able to live a day without being in constant fear of the world around me is absolutely terrifying. Yet, so many people deal with this on a daily basis.
This book is going to smack you in the face with a struggle people keep private most days. You might not like what you read, you may not relate to the series of events, but this is the life people live sometimes. People need to be aware that this is serious. This is no joke. This is the real deal. Making jokes about being OCD (or any other mental health diagnosis) is just down right disgusting. If you happen to come across this post and you still make jokes like this – Please no. Just don’t. Don’t be that asshole.
Luke has my heart and soul. If I have mentioned anyone being my favorite characters this year, Luke has beat them out. I’m getting teary-eyed as I write this, but I have to say it. It takes a really special person to stand beside someone who feels like they’ve lost themselves. There’s a part of the book where Luke makes an innocent joke about Norah ‘Grocery fishing’ and the moment I read it, I flinched. It was such a harmless joke, but to her, it was like a slap in the face. I wanted to grab him and hug him. Hug him SO tightly! I wouldn’t be able to handle things day to day without the understanding and love of my husband. Sometimes, it feels like walking on egg shells for him. I think every spouse sometimes feels like this when it comes to being with someone who can take comments the wrong way. Even simple ones. To see them together at the end of the book makes my heart explode with happiness. Luke is one hell of a guy.
This book hit me in another person spot. I don’t often share information about my daughters on my blog, but soon you will be hearing more about them since we do deal with mental health issues with my youngest girls. A few months ago, my daughter started counting on her fingers. She was doing it non-stop. Before and after doing things; while doing everyday normal. She was counting under her breathe. It had started so suddenly. It was one of the scariest things I’ve gone through with her to-date. My therapist had mentioned OCD to me, and it felt like my entire world came crashing down. I know now as an adult how difficult OCD can be for ANYONE, let alone a 7-year-old. After speaking to several doctors, it has been determined she has a grand motor tic. It’s common for children her age to develop tics and often people are confusing it with symptoms of OCD. It’s something we were preparing ourselves to deal with. What would happen in school? How would her peers see her? What could we do to help her if this what was happening?
It’s a long road, and it’s tough. We need to see more books based on mental health in the hands of our young adults and adults. We need more education, more realistic representations and more discussion about these subjects.
I want to thank Louise again for the arc of Under Rose-Tainted Skies. It was such a marvelous read. Down below is a giveaway! Make sure you enter, and if you have a chance pop over and say hello to Louise on Twitter! She is one of my favorite people to lurk these days! <3
This giveaway is international.
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